Aust stocks open weaker

Local market slips into the red in early trade as fresh Ukraine fears weigh on Wall Street.

The Australian sharemarket opened half a per cent lower after fresh fears over the latest outbreak of violence in Ukraine and concerns about the US tech sector weighed on Wall Street.

At the 10.15am (AEST) official market open the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index shed 29.5 points, or 0.54%, to 5,451.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index gave up 28.3 points, or 0.52%, to 5,434.4.

At the closing bell on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 129.53 points, or 0.78%, to 16,401.02.

The drop came as the death toll rose to 34 in Ukraine, with Kiev trying to reclaim control of the east of the country from rebel separatists. Much of the fighting has been centred on the rebel stronghold of Slavyansk.

"The federal budget is having a big dampening impact on buying in the market, and until that is done and dusted there's less likelihood people, in particular retail clients, will come to the plate," UBS equity sales executive director Rob Taubman said.

Information technology stocks led the market lower, giving up 0.98% across the sector.

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